Publishing is a funny business. For any author who’s worked with a publisher will know, sometimes things don’t always go according to plan.
A prime example is my Dangerous Bachelors Club series with Harlequin Blaze, which ended with Mr. Dangerously Sexy in 2017. I had planned more books for the series than then four which were published. But when the Blaze line was shut down, the series ended up being cut short and I moved into the Dare line with the Melbourne After Dark series.
But…what happened to Owen? If you’ve read my Blaze books then you probably remember the sexy joker, Owen Fletcher. He was a guy who’d lived all around the world, and who was often quick with a one-liner. A former police officer in Australia, he’d moved to New York to work in the private security field. But his background was a bit of a mystery and the very last part of the epilogue from Mr. Dangerously Sexy left readers hanging as to what Owen’s deal was.
A lot of readers, apparently. I’ve had more emails about him than any other secondary character to date!
So I’m excited to share that Harlequin Dare has green-lit a new series, and Owen is finally getting his book! *happy dance*
The new series, Close Quarters, is launching in September 2018 with book #1 - FAKING IT. The series is set in a building aptly named 21 Love Street where the close confines of apartment living are having some VERY SEXY consequences.
…and Owen will FINALLY get his happy ever after.
So, what can you expect from FAKING IT:
Tropes: Fake relationship, frenemies to lovers, unrequited love
There's a light mystery in this book, which ties into the Blaze series, but these Dare books are more sexy romantic comedies than suspense.
The hero and heroine went through the policy academy together and there's A LOT of unresolved attraction...oh, and they have to pose as man and wife. <insert evil cackling author laughter here>
The CLOSE QUARTERS series is set in South Melbourne (one of my favourite places in the world) and you might spot some easter eggs from past books of mine.
There's a sex scene involving an orange, an ice cube and a fork...and it's sexier than it sounds, I promise!
Oh…and it’s my first time writing in first person. I’ve really wanted to try this for a while and with the encouragement of my agent and Harlequin editor (as well as some author friends; thanks Taryn!!) I decided to take the plunge.
Want a super early sneak peek? (nb. this book has been revised but not copy-edited or proofed, so please excuse any typos).
EXCERPT FROM FAKING IT…
I know it's going to make me seem like a cruel bastard, but there isn't much in this world that pleases me more than getting the drop on someone. The element of surprise is my catnip. I love seeing the moment the penny drops and my target realizes they've been duped. Maybe it's because nobody ever expected a thing from me.
Who actually thinks the class clown will amount to something? Nobody.
So yeah, I like the moment when the tables are turned. Especially when my target comes in a five foot and two-inch package filled to the brim with bristling indignation.
“No.” Miss Indignation shakes her head, a frizzy brown ponytail slapping her ears like she's a puppy shaking off the water from an unwanted bath. “Can't we pretend to be brother and sister?”
“I'm not sure which part of this meeting you misinterpreted as a negotiation, Anderson.” My old boss, Gary Smythe raises a bushy, silver eyebrow. “This is your first assignment as a detective. I thought you'd be champing at the bit.”
Hannah Anderson, now known as Detective Senior Constable Anderson, straightens her shoulders. “Yes, sir, and I'm very grateful for the opportunity—”
“Then I suggest you quit shaking your head like you're trying to dislodge something.”
I snort and stifle the noise with a cough. Neither one of them buy it. We're sitting in a meeting room at the Victoria Police headquarters. It feels strange to be back. I’d never planned on returning to Australia, let alone to my old job. But that's life in a nutshell, right? The second you think you've got your shit together, fate punches you in the nuts.
“Yes, sir.” Hannah looks like she’s about to erupt. Her hands white-knuckle a paper coffee cup and she shoots daggers at me.
Suck it up, Anderson.
“Not exactly the warm welcome I was hoping for,” I chime in, returning her fiery glare with a cocky grin. If there's one thing that makes Anderson blow her stack, it's people who take life less seriously than she does.
Spoiler alert: that's literally everyone.
“Shut up, Fletcher.” Gary takes a sip of his cappuccino. He's drinking out of a mug that says 'I like big busts and I cannot lie' with a picture of pair of handcuffs beneath it. A white line of milk foam caps his Ned Flanders-style moustache. “If you want someone to be fawn over you, then pay your grandmother a visit.”
“Planning on doing that this afternoon.”
Anderson rolls her eyes. If it’s not completely obvious at this point, she kind of hates me. Well, hate might be a strong word although she has said it before. It’s a weird kind of hate. The kind that feels prickly and cold but is really a front for a gooey centre of white-hot attraction. Yeah, she has the hots for me and she hates herself for it.
So I'm scoring another point in the bastard category, but that pleases me very much.
“So we're going undercover,” I say, leaning forward against the table and not even trying to hide my glee. “As man and wife.”